Earbuds definitely present sound very differently from iems, that much is certain. I do feel that these products are still maturing; manufacturers have provided some brilliant in-ear offerings at affordable prices but earbuds are still a relatively new market containing manufacturers with much more limited experience. While all earbuds sound spacious with a natural soundstage, many have issues with tuning and manufacturers struggle to adjust to the variability of fitment between different people since they form no reliable nor consistent seal.The E1008 is, to my knowledge, the first premium earbud we’ve received from a large manufacturer and, like the HA-2 from Oppo, it is a true pioneer in build and finish. That being said, I still think 1More has some refining to do with their tuning. The quality is there, resolution and texturing are notably impressive, and the unique driver setup does provide some interesting results, but the unorthodox midrange and overly laid-back high-end will limit buyers. The Cygnus mostly matches the E1008 on quality but does so with infinitely more accessible tuning all within a more stable form factor. It lacks the million dollar build of the 1More, the ethereal soundstage and also any kind of opulent packaging, accessories or smartphone features, but it does make up for it with an extremely rewarding analogue sound and supremely comfortable fit. But at the end of the day and when not in direct comparison to the exemplary Cygnus, the E1008 isn’t a bad earbud, not by a long shot. Its tuning makes it ideal for slower, more relaxed genres yet it maintains nice rhythm with faster genres too. The remote and build both make them ideal for smartphone usage and the overall package offered here is no doubt impressive, I’ll be excited to see what 1More produces in the future.
Overall – 7.5/10, The 1More E1008’s laid back yet resolving sound is great for more passive listening and their universal remote really enhances usability and convenience. Their build and accessory quite is class leading and their sound quality is well considered for the asking price. Buyers accustomed to more laid-back sounds, maybe from lower-end Klipsch or Bose products, will find new levels of balance and insight within this earbud while maintaining the same kind of tone, while lovers of a smooth, relaxing sound will find relish in the sound these earbuds can produce. For everyone else, the Cygnus is a better bet.